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New benefits were just added to the Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite credit card which might now make the high annual fee actually worth it! These new features include:
- Unlimited $100 discounts on two or more domestic airline tickets
- Worldwide access to more than 900 airport lounges through Priority Pass
- Global Entry application fee reimbursement credit
- Car rental discount and upgrades
The card has also always had a $300 airline travel credit and that perk is not going away. This card does come with a $450 annual fee, which is extremely high in my opinion, but some of these benefits might offset the annual fee, for the first year at least. Assuming you were going to apply for global entry anyways and spend the money out of pocket and have a need for the $300 airline credit (good for incidentals, not the purchase of airfare), you’ll actually come out ahead even after paying the annual fee! The $300 airline credit is good for every year you are a card members (based on a calendar year), so if you get this card now, you are able to get the $300 credit both in 2016 and 2017, so twice within one year of paying the first years annual fee. That means you can get up to $600 in credits the first year, plus a $100 value for the global entry fee reimbursement. This $700 minus the $450 annual fee, nets you a positive $250. Not only do you come out ahead with the perks, you also get a sign up bonus when applying for the card (which I’ll get to in a second). The other perks aren’t anything too special in my opinion, but a nice-to-have.
This card used to come with a $395 annual fee and unfortunately if you have the existing version of this card you are not eligible to apply for the new version and receive the sign up bonus again. The only way to do so is if you aren’t currently a card member and haven’t received the sign up bonus in the past 24 months. Also keep in mind that this card most likely falls within the “5/24” rule, which means if you’ve applied for 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months you’ll most likely be automatically denied for the card (this is common for many Chase credit cards).
Sign Up Bonus: The current sign up offer will give you three free nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 within the first three months. This is a great offer since it includes most Ritz hotels. There are a total of five tiers so you only will not be able to redeem the certificates at the top tier hotels – this excludes 13 properties. Some recommended hotels where you can redeem your free night certificate include The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, Hotel Arts Barcelona, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Hawaii, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, and The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. You can check out all the Ritz-Carlton hotels here.
Overall, this is a great offer and card perks for the first year. After that, I am not sure if I would personally pay $450 for the card. You can learn more about the card and the apply here.